Avanti Communications Group has won a new contract with the European Space Agency through its ARTES Partner programme. It will provide affordable satellite broadband connectivity to 1,400 community sites across Sub-Saharan Africa over the next two years using Avanti's new ECO Wi-Fi hotspot initiative, launched today. ESA will contribute up to €10.7 million in funding that Avanti will use to bring rural communities across Africa online. To deploy the advanced new technology platform, Avanti will partner with Newtec and a group of leading Service Providers, combining satellite, Wi-Fi and solar power, to deliver the programme in the market. Avanti also issued an update on its strategic review and announced a two-phase funding strategy: - To address the short term liquidity need, launch of a consent solicitation process to pay the $32.25m October 2016 coupon by issuing additional senior secured notes due 2019 to which bondholders owning approximately 60% of senior secured notes have provided support - Commenced work on a long term funding solution which will be the subject of a further update in due course Update: On 11 July, the board announced the undertaking of a strategic review to consider all financial and strategic options. As part of this exercise, Avanti has conducted an in-depth review of its business plan, financial position and strategic options, including various routes to strengthen the Company's balance sheet. Additionally, Avanti recently entered into constructive discussions with certain of its largest bondholders representing approximately 60% of the Company's Senior Secured Notes, with the dual goals of addressing near-term liquidity needs and developing a stable long term platform for the Company. The Company has, as a result, today initiated the first phase of a two-phase funding strategy. On 11 July, the Company also announced a 'formal sale process' in accordance with Note 2 on Rule 2.6 of The City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the "Code") which is running in parallel with the financing process. Avanti has engaged in discussions with a number of potential acquirors or investors around a strategic transaction and discussions are on-going with interested parties. Upon the completion of due diligence by interested parties, the Board intends to request best and final indicative offers for a potential acquisition or any strategic investment in the Company. There is, however, no certainty that a satisfactory offer or other strategic transaction will be forthcoming.
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